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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 94  |  Page : 77--82

A methodology to objectively assess the performance of sound field amplification systems demonstrated using 50 physical simulations of classroom conditions

Acoustics Group, School of the Built Environment and Architecture, London South Bank University, London, UK

Correspondence Address:
Stephen Dance
School of the Built Environment, Borough Road, London South Bank University, London SE1 0AA, London
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nah.NAH_87_16

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Introduction: The effect of a sound reinforcement system, in terms of speech intelligibility, has been systematically determined under realistic conditions. Different combinations of ambient and reverberant conditions representative of a classroom environment have been investigated. Materials and Methods: By comparing the measured speech transmission index metric with and without the system in the same space under different room acoustics conditions, it was possible to determine when the system was most effective. A new simple criterion, equivalent noise reduction (ENR), was introduced to determine the effectiveness of the sound reinforcement system which can be used to predict the speech transmission index based on the ambient sound pressure and reverberation time with and without amplification. Results: This criterion had a correlation, R2 > 0.97. It was found that sound reinforcement provided no benefit if the competing noise level was less than 40 dBA. However, the maximum benefit of such a system was equivalent to a 7.7 dBA noise reduction. Conclusion: Using the ENR model, it would be possible to determine the suitability of implementing sound reinforcement systems in any room, thus providing a tool to determine if natural acoustic treatment or sound field amplification would be of most benefit to the occupants of any particular room.


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